In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Plumbing Manufacturers International has been making ongoing efforts to serve PMI members while also protecting the health and safety of its staff and volunteer leaders. PMI staff is working remotely and is 100% operational.
“We are in unprecedented times, but we are confident in the resilience of our community and know that we will weather this crisis together,” stated PMI CEO/Executive Director Kerry Stackpole.
Many PMI members have reached out for resources and guidance on manufacturing, office operations and other issues related to COVID-19, Stackpole said. Members have also responded to a series of confidential surveys issued by PMI about the impact the companies expect the crisis to have on manufacturing operations, supply chains, financial results and travel.
“As you would expect, our members do expect adverse impacts but are doing everything possible to maintain operating while protecting the health and safety of workers and their families and communities,” he explained.
PMI urges Trump administration, governors to identify plumbing manufacturers as “essential”
Toward the goal of keeping plumbing manufacturers contributing during the pandemic, PMI issued a letter to Vice President Mike Pence to urge the Trump administration to identify plumbing manufacturing workers as "essential" and allowed to work as shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders go into effect.
“Plumbing infrastructure is critical for public health and sanitation,” Stackpole said. “Plumbing manufacturers produce key products and components for our drinking water and wastewater systems,” which has been identified by the administration as a critical sector. In addition, plumbers have been identified as critical essential infrastructure workers, and “plumbers need access to products our members produce,” he stated.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), issued guidance late last week regarding how to carve out exceptions to stay-in-place orders for critical infrastructure sectors, including critical manufacturing and water systems, and their workers, including plumbers, essential for the support of these industries. Several governors have already referenced the DHS CISA guidance in their state’s recent stay-in-place orders, including California, Connecticut and Illinois. PMI is weighing in with additional states where members have manufacturing facilities.
“We believe reliance upon common standards as outlined in the DHS CISA guidance is critical at this time for the plumbing manufacturing sector and manufacturing in general,” Stackpole said.
The National Association of Manufacturers is continually updating a summary of state and county declarations and resources to stop the spread of COVID-19, help manufacturers understand the implications of these orders, and emphasize the essential role manufacturers play in leading the response against coronavirus.
PMI also has published an article on its website titled "Safe Plumbing, Hand Hygiene and Worker Safety Crucial During COVID-19 Crisis" that covers what the EPA, CDC, other governmental authorities and PMI members are doing in response to the pandemic. Also directing readers to additional resources, this article will be updated frequently.
“PMI will continue to look from input from PMI members about the challenges they are facing and will respond in any way we can,” Stackpole said. He encouraged members to reach out to him and his staff recently for assistance. “We’re here to help,” he emphasized.